Divorce in Texas under any circumstance is complicated, stressful and tough. When kids are involved, there are added complexities that you must navigate carefully. Here’s an overview of how to deal with divorce as parents.
Filing for a divorce as a parent
Filing for a divorce in Texas as a parent has the same initial process as any other type of divorce. The spouse who wants the divorce must file the petition with the court, and the other spouse must respond. Even if the other spouse refuses to respond, the divorce will still proceed once you petition.
If you and your kids live in Texas, you will work out your custody and child support arrangements under Texas state law. However, if your child lives out of state even for just six months, according to UCCJEA federal law, Texas will no longer be their home state. That means that the other state will make the custody and visitation decisions for the child.
Things you should do and never do as a parent
It doesn’t matter whose fault it was that led to the divorce; you should avoid making negative comments about your spouse to your children. This is not only helpful in helping your kids move on, but you should also remember that whatever you say to them could be used against you in court.
Let your children know that you are divorcing, but don’t say too much. Excessive, unnecessary information could turn them against the other parent. You need to prepare them for what’s coming while at the same time helping them cope.
Always put the best interest of the child above all else. It’s understandable not to like the other parent or want anything to do with them, but your child needs them. Therefore, be reasonable when deciding on your custody agreements and give the other parent enough time to be in their child’s life.
Lastly, don’t walk out of the house during the divorce process. You have the right to stay in the family home with your children as much as the other parent.
Divorce will definitely affect your children no matter their age. Always aim to protect your children by taking steps to put your children’s emotional and physical needs before anything.